Just a few miles from Ventnor, St Catherine’s Lighthouse is an iconic Isle of Wight attraction. Built in 1838, tours of the lighthouse are a fascinating chance to learn more about its long history. There are 94 steps up to the lantern inside, so wear comfy shoes if you visit!
The main light of St Catherine’s can be seen for more than 30 miles when the weather’s clear, and it guides vessels safely across the Solent. The tower was built in 1838 in reaction to the loss of a sailing ship on rocks not far from where the lighthouse stands, and the light had to be lowered when it was noticed that it was regularly concealed by mist.
Look out for small chippings in the lens if you take the tour, as these were the results of bombing raids during WWII. Three lighthouse keepers on duty at the time perished and you’ll see a plaque dedicated to their memory on the side of the tower. The last lighthouse keeper left the lighthouse in 1997 when it was automated, and it also acts as a weather reporting station now.